Wednesday, June 27, 2012

our summer so far - instagram style

I'm usually not a huge fan of Summer. I much prefer Autumn with all its cozy, crunchy goodness. But for some reason, this Summer has been different....I have found myself seriously enjoying the lazy, carefree days of Summer that I've heard everyone talk about in the past. I have embraced this Summer and all that it has to offer (despite the crazy 100+ degree days here in Texas), and I can't wait to see what's next!

sno cones at Bahama Bucks to kick things off

playdates during little brother's swim lessons

family movie night = Mr. Popper's Penguins
and foods that start with P

a Pinterest art project

Madagascar 3

swimming at the club

post-VBS lunch with pals

build your own pizza party

dance recital

happy father's day

the A Team van!!!

picnics by the pool


daddy's b-day lunch

papa's b-day dinner

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

my intention

I learned a lot from Oprah over the years (and 4:00 pm just hasn't been the same without her!!). One of the things I picked up from her show somewhere along the way was to speak of my desires and goals as intentions rather than simply saying "I would like to be/have/do _____."

With that in mind, I sat down this weekend and simply wrote about my intentions. I didn't edit or go back and re-read what I had written, I just put pen to paper and wrote from the heart.

Here's the result if that little exercise:

* my intention is to be the best wife and mother I can be

* my intention is to have a home that feels cozy and comfortable and that nurtures my family

* my intention is to read the Bible on a regular basis and to be in prayer continually

* my intention is to help others and to be the type of friend that I would like to have

* my intention is to be strong, vital, healthy and energized in mind, body and spirit

* my intention is to be kind to myself in words and thoughts and to wait patiently on God's direction while pursuing life to the fullest

* my intention is to travel with my family, to cook more meals together, to be active and engaged outdoors and in our community, to open our home to friends and family, to try new things and learn new skills, to foster a love of learning and books and people even when they may look or act or think differently than we do, to value silence and independence as well as a sense of belonging, to reach out, to get involved, to try again...even if (especially if) you fail the first time

*my intention to to be there for my children both physically and mentally - to really listen and to try and understand who they are

* my intention is to focus on gratitude and to be ok....even grateful for the way things are, exactly as they are say "It is enough," "I am enough"..... our home is enough, our paychecks are enough, we have enough stuff, enough gadgets, enough toys, enough clothes - knowing that we will likely acquire more, but being completely OK with what we have today. I don't cook very often or well, but I am enough. I don't have a "full time job" right now, and I have been in this "middle place" for quite sometime now, and that is OK. I don't have the finest clothes or the latest IT bag, I don't blow dry Sienna's hair every morning before school or dress her in expensive outfits, Grant needs a haircut like yesterday, the kids should eat more vegetables and way less sugar. I'm terrible at thank-you notes, I haven't worked out since Grant was born (he's 4!!), a vegetable rarely crosses my lips, and I consume embarrassing amounts of cheese pizza. I'm opinionated, sometimes judgmental, and totally guilty of wanting a whole new house every time the new Pottery Barn catalogue comes out. I have a tendency to try and control things and people, and I lash out at the people I love when I am afraid - but I'm learning that it's all OK - I am enough. God loves me flaws and all

* my intention is to work on the parts of myself that need repairing, but to do it gently, with patience and with the knowledge deep within my soul that I am enough exactly as I am today

* my intention is to remember that everyone else is enough as well....everyone has a story, everyone has a past and everyone is hurting for some reason or another - my intention is to be kind, to be forgiving

* my intention is to ride the ups and downs of life with grace and to remember that "this too shall pass" but to be mindful that the great times are fleeting as well - grab hold of great moments, be "in" them fully and completely, take pictures, journal, write it down, document the journey - remember how many times you thought a certain season in life was so very tough only to look back on that time with fondness and extreme gratitude for the "good ole days"

So there you have it. I didn't intend for this turn into a manifesto of sorts, but after I wrote it, I felt compelled to share. What does it say about me that I always feel compelled to share. Hmmmmm???

Monday, March 26, 2012

scenes from a sunday

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

thoughts on reading, writing and being inspired

To say that I love to read would be a massive understatement. I just looked at the bookshelf on my iPad and according to that handy little gadget, I have read a total of 13 books since January (and it's only March!!).

I read at night after the kids are in bed, I read on the weekends, I read on vacation, and when I'm into a really great book, I pretty much read around the clock, choosing to let the kids "play by themselves" and to serve them peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for dinner.....good parenting be damned ;-)

I've read self-help books, relationship books, religious books, Oprah-book-club-books, fiction, non-fiction, Vampire books, mysteries, biographies, name it. And there have been times in my life when I was knee-deep in "scholarly reading" (college/law school), but couldn't keep myself out of the nearest Barnes and Noble to browse the aisles, and pick out a few must-reads.

My shelves are also filled to the brim with books on creativity and second passion. For as long as I can remember, I've wanted to be a "writer." It's a little embarrassing to admit, but it's true. If I could choose any profession in the world (other than maybe being a rock star), I would choose to be a writer. I'm inspired by great writers, and every now and then, I come across a writer that makes me want to run to the nearest Starbucks, pull out my laptop and write my little heart out. In the last month, I've come across two of those writers......women who I feel an immediate connection to, who inspire me, women who make me want to write, who make me want to be a better person, a better mother, who make me pay attention to my life in a brand new way.

Shauna Niequist writes the way I would hope to write if I were a writer.....does that make sense? She is real and witty and sharp and she values all the things that I value (motherhood, writing, marriage, books, friendship, food, celebrating) but she does it in a way that is thoughtful and poignant and delicious. She's written two books, and has one on the way, and I can not wait to get my hands on it when it comes out!

I read Jen Hatmaker's book "7" in two days, and I haven't stopped talking about it since. It made me look at the excess in my life with a critical eye, and really think about what God has called us to do with our "wealth" as Christians. It's a tough read, and it's hard not to walk away from it feeling guilty or overwhelmed, but reading Jen's blog has given me a deeper understanding of the woman that she is and the value of her words.

I feel grateful that the words of these two women crossed my path this with all things, at exactly the right time. And when I find something or someone great, I can't help but share. I hope you find as much joy in the words of these two women as I did.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

how we celebrated (part 2)

Yes, I know it is almost March, but I thought I would take advantage of this "extra" day in February to post a few more photos of how we celebrated this month of LOVE.....then it is on to all things SPRING!! I am making plans to Spring clean and de-clutter and freshen things up a bit around the home front , but before we move forward.......a look back.

Valentine cards for the boy (thank you Pinterest)

 Class parties

after-school surprises in little mailboxes

hand-made bags for Valentine cards & candy (mostly candy!!)

our annual "heart attack" in the kitchen

one of my favorites
"I love daddy because he takes me to the donut shop"

our breakfast table decorated for the big day

a sweet gift from daddy

ready for school

our decked out mantel

more class parties

Valentine hugs

my beverage of choice for the evening

seeing Lady A in concert

an impromptu after school outing

a walk in the woods

a canoe ride on the lake

Our February wasn't all rose petals and chocolate. Like every month, there were some bumps along the way (hello migraine diagnosis!! hello cleaning up vomit at 1:30am!!), but it was also a month of celebrating with friends, creating special moments, enjoying spring-like temperatures, date nights, snuggling with the kids, and perhaps most was the month that the Cadbury mini eggs made their annual appearance at Target!! Here's to a great March ;-)


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